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Report: North Korean long-range missile launch doesn't appear imminent

June 8, 2009 06:17

North Korea is stepping up preparations to test-fire a long-range missile from its new launching site near China, but a launch does not appear imminent, a news report said Monday. North Korea has reportedly been assembling an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US at the new Dongchang-ni site. Such a long-range missile launch would further heighten tension following the North's May 25 nuclear test and a barrage of missile launches. Seoul's mass-circulation JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported Monday that there have been constant movements of personnel and vehicles at the site, but a missile-tracking radar system has not been installed there yet - meaning that a launch is not imminent. Reports last week had said that North Korea could conduct the launch around June 16 when the presidents of South Korea and the United States are scheduled to hold a summit in Washington. The timing is being closely watched for signs of further belligerence from North Korea amid fears it could provoke an armed confrontation with South Korea.

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